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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Nov 21, 2007
    Contents of Mail inbox GONE - in one keystroke?
    Early (very early) this morning I woke up my Mac Pro (OS 10.6.4) to download email from the POP server, just like I always do. I recently moved and thus have new servers in Mail, and I noticed it was also attempting to download from two Gmail accounts and an old POP account that I no longer use. So (before having any coffee - bad move), I opened up the Mail preferences and *thought* I was just deleting those old servers off. Well, I don't know what the h3ll I did, but when I got done (this was literally like three keystrokes, mind you), the entire contents of my inbox was gone, and only the eight or nine messages that were brand new showed up. The rest were gone. Kaput. Missing.

    Easy, I thought. Just go to "inbox" then click on Time Machine and restore it. Wrong. Time Machine doesn't see anything to restore. The oldest TM backup was 0733 this morning. That's when I did whatever it was I did. It's as if before 0733 there was no "inbox" for it to restore.

    So then I thought, "Ah ha! I'll restore the mailbox from within Mail!" You guessed it. No dice. That did nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

    So then I thought, "Ah ha! Those ever-helpful folks on the Apple support web site will surely know what I did wrong and how to fix it!" Yeah, right.

    This evening I navigated to my Users, Me, Library, Mail folder and restored that from 0655 this morning (this was just before I got out of bed). So I did that, trashed the existing "Mail" folder, and renamed the restored copy as just "Mail", then restarted Mail (the software - they need a catchier name for it). All of the mailboxes I've created to store old stuff in (I have about 30 of them) dutifully restored themselves, but the several hundred messages that had been in the inbox - gone.

    Absolutely everything about Mail is acting normally except for the missing contents of the inbox. The genius on the Apple support forum states that there is no "backup" of the actual inbox messages except as what I tried to do using Time Machine. I say he's wrong. Those actual messages and their attachments have to live somewhere on my hard drive, and not inside the Mail program itself. I just have to find out where, and then retrieve them.

    So... anybody care to take a stab at this one? Any and all thoughts appreciated. I'd hate to lose all those messages - there was some stuff I really need in there.



  2. #2

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Modesto, Ca.
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OS10.13 iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OS10.13 , iPad Pro 10.5", iPhone 5s,
    Ok, the Inbox folder is tied to each email account you have set up. Check User/UserName/Library/Mail then the name of the account like one of my accounts is POP-my handle at Inside that and each other folder named after one of your accounts is an inbox with the message from the mail Inbox that came from that account. Mine are all there and in Time Machine also.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Nov 21, 2007
    Right. But if I restored the entire folder "Users/Me/Library/Mail" shouldn't it restore what you're talking about?? I see the email account, and as I say, it does everything in Mail *except* the contents of the inbox.


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